My first (official) shipment of tea from Teavivre has arrived! As my partner could tell you I’ve been looking forward to this shipment since I ordered it. I don’t have many (good) straight teas at the moment and so finding out about Teavivre through one of their contests this fall was a bit of good luck.
Dry this tea is visually intriguing and being rolled into small balls certainly makes it easier to get it prepped for steeping! The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was a lovely dark malt smell. My father used to make beer in our basement and the scent of the tea really reminded me of the malty hops that he would start out with.
After a quick rinse I steeped this for about 40 seconds. Teavivre’s website recommended 30s but I used a bit more water (just over 4 oz) than what they called for so I bumped the time up a bit. The liquor comes out dark orange-brown and the aroma is heavenly. Really it was a toss up if I just wanted to keep my nose buried in my cup or to actually drink it. Sweet malt notes with some honey highlights, a bit of dark chocolate and under it all just a touch of earthiness to bring it all together.
As for the flavor… Oh wow! This has become an instant favorite for me. The aroma carries through to the flavor, malt and chocolate mixed to form a wonderful smooth experience. The mouth feel was rich and full but not heavy at all. And there was just a bit of dryness to this tea that helped to keep it from being cloying. As it cooled the malt notes stepped back a bit and the chocolate really started to shine though.
For the second steeping I left the leaves in for 70 seconds; this gave an orange-brown liquor that smelled of chocolate with a few sweet dark caramel notes underneath. Flavor wise this steeping is a bit more subtle than the previous one, but the dark chocolate tones really shine thorough with just enough malty sweetness to round it out nicely. There’s a bit of creaminess to this stepping as well.
The last steeping was for 1:45 minutes and this time I got a subtle caramel scented and colored liquor. The flavor had some of those same thick, creamy caramel tones to it as the aroma but there were still some hints of the chocolate. It also wasn’t as dry as the previous steepings, which I found to be a nice way to finish off this tea.
I have to admit that this was the tea that I was most looking forward to trying and it didn’t disappoint. I was really surprised at how a non-flavored tea could taste so much like chocolate (though I think I said the the same thing about Teavivre’s milk oolong…) and there were no floral notes to distract from the flavor profile either, which was nice to find. This is definitely a tea that I will be keeping stocked in my cupboard. Honestly, had a hard time writing this log up as I kept stopping to drink some more tea. I guess thats not a bad thing eh? ;)